First, it is assumed the end intended is to intimidate America to the point consent will be given your world view. As often stated by jihadists, it is the objective of your faith that there should be only one faith in the world.
The conflict between America and extremist Muslims isn’t new. In 1786, Islamist extremists were raiding American ships along the Barbary Coast of North Africa. President Thomas Jefferson had no CIA to investigate foreign involvement so he studied the Koran to better understand the Islamic mentality regarding conflict.
March 28, 1786, Jefferson and John Adams summarized for the Continental Congress their dialogue with Arab Ambassador Adja:
“We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their presentations to make war upon a Nation who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our Friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
At a time when our national revenue totaled only $7 million a year, America paid $990,000 in “blackmail” in an effort to appease these Algerian Islamists. European states whose ships had been attacked and citizens taken as slaves had been trying to buy them off for years. Jefferson referred to such perpetrators as terrorists. He proposed addressing the issue with military force.
U.S. Consul William Eaton wrote the Secretary of State in 1799, “Too many concessions have been made to Algiers. There is but one language which can be held to these people, and this is terror.”
In 1799, the USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) and the USS Constellation were launched to fight the Barbary Pirates. The Navy and Marine Corps put a whipping on them on the shores of Tripoli, and still sing about it. Hostilities ceased for more than 200 years.
The summary intent stated by Ambassador Adja is still the announced intention of jihadists. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.
Jihadists, your terrorist bombings will achieve your end. That is, the end of your life. Your end always will to be hunted, found and suffer just punishment. If you don’t want your life to end in that way, stop jihadist activities.
There are passages in your Koran that dispute the interpretation you give the “war verses” therein. Some Muslims are joining the voices of freedom advocating peaceful co-existence. Listen to these voices.
After our Marines eventually destroyed the pirate headquarters at Derna, the voice of Muslims espousing peace began to prevail. Such involvement by moderate Muslims is essential to resolving the current conflict.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church.